Fireworks

DarkSun - 'Chronicles Of Aravan' Hot

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Written by Central Electronic Brain     March 13, 2018    
 
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On a Spinal Tap scale of one to eleven, it's more clever than stupid. It also scores well for entertainment.

Despite the evident absurdities of the genre, I've never really subscribed to the view that Heavy Metal is music made by middle-aged men for young boys. I've always preferred to focus on its raw and uplifting qualities or, where that fails, its potential for pure entertainment. That said, a Power Metal tale of a warrior (Aravan) who embarks on a quest for revenge after finding his village razed and its inhabitants murdered clearly throws down the gauntlet. There is, as all Rock fans know, a thin line between stupid and clever and there are, generally, limits to the kind of lyrical themes that will be of interest to well-rounded individuals who've left teenage obsessions behind.

'The Chronicles Of Aravan' is the self-proclaimed "magnum opus" and sixth album release from DarkSun, Spain's "leading Power Metal band" (it sez ʾere). The album I have is the English language version of 'Chronicles...', released earlier this year in the band's native land. Despite approaching with a degree of trepidation (see above), I am pleased to report that it's a highly competent, well-presented affair. Musically, it's frenetic and uncompromising, fuelled by blazing twin guitars, endless sub-Classical runs, thunderous drumming, strong vocals and stand out bass work.

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It's superbly embellished with well-arranged choral and orchestral touches which add both class and charm and there is speed, melody and grandeur throughout. Check out the harpsichord and choral intro to 'The Red Dwelling', the exceptional soloing on 'Fighting As One' or 'Beyond The Gates of Hell' and the power and range of vocalist Dani G as exemplified on 'The Legacy', all or any of which give you a good idea of what DarkSun are about. Even the lyrics, which could easily have been a sticking point, seem to translate fairly well and present the story in a sound if rather matter-of-fact manner.

If you loved Iron Maiden and Helloween back in the day (and still do) or if you like a good sub-Tolkien tale of heroics and gore, there's a good chance that you'll devour this album like a soul-thirsty Dementor. Be warned though, there is, as I hint in my introduction, a significant "Boy's Own" quotient that lacks somewhat in emotional pull for those who might feel they've outgrown this sort of thing.

On a Spinal Tap scale of one to eleven, it's more clever than stupid. It also scores well for entertainment.

Michael Anthony

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